We are passionate about living out and speaking the Truth of God’s Word in the Love of Jesus Christ. We are convinced that the love of the Jesus Christ of the Bible is the most unique, perfect, radical and revolutionary character quality to be found among mankind. We are persuaded that there is no greater, inspirational or powerful kind of love found anywhere in the world than the kind of love that causes you to sacrifice yourself for the welfare of others and the glory of God (John 13; 15:12-15; Romans 4:6-8; I Corinthians 13). We believe that the world would be revolutionized if only the people of the world knew, experienced and then practiced the love of Christ in relationship to each other.
We are passionate about the truth. The primary question we ask with regard to any issue we may face in relationship to God and our lives is this: “What is the truth?” (John 8:31-34; 17:3; Ephesians 6:10-18; II Timothy 3:16-17). Among our first questions are not, “What makes us feel good?”, “What would we prefer to believe?”, “How would we prefer to live?”, “What would be acceptable to most of our friends or others in our culture?” or “How could we draw the biggest crowd to our church?” We firmly believe that the wisest and most effective way to deal with reality is to deal with the truth about reality. And we believe that dealing with the truth about God now will yield the best possible result for us both now and in the future.
Therefore, we are passionate about the Bible, because we have become convinced that it is the truth, and the very Word of the Living and Loving Creator intended to instruct us about life and God. (John 17:3). We are passionate about the Bible being the Word of God, God’s precise communication to us about how to get to heaven and have a personal relationship with Him (II Timothy 3:16-17; I Peter 1:19-21).
We use only the most accurate translations of the Bible in relationship to the original languages in which the Scripture was written, because we consider it sacred. In our studying and teaching, we do not use paraphrases of the Bible as a basis for our interpretation. After all, what right do men have to change or alter the Word of God in any way, given that not one jot or tittle will disappear from it until all is fulfilled and that those who nullify even the least commandment of the law will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:17-19; John 10:35)? Our commitment in teaching and preaching is not to tell you what we think or give our opinions, but rather to explain what God says, because what God says is all that really matters.
We are devoted to the plain (though hopefully interesting) explanation and exposition of the Scriptures, because Scripture is the only thing that is inspired by God. We believe that the Bible is already the single most relevant book (it’s the instruction book written by our Creator about how to live life) ever written to man, and that, therefore, it is simply our job to explain it, show how it’s relevant, illustrate, encourage and/or correct people so that they understand what it says and will be motivated and empowered to do what it says—which will translate into the love of Jesus Christ displayed by their lives. After all, the outcome of our lives, and our eternal destiny depend upon our trust in the Word of God, and our obedience to it.
We believe also, that it is not at all enough to simply know the Word of God. It is even more important to do the Word of God, and it is there, and only there, that the blessing of God comes (John 13:17)
We are therefore passionate about the New Testament Gospel—the Good News that Jesus Christ offers us eternal life by His death for our sins on the cross and His resurrection from the grave three days later. We are passionate about precisely what the Gospel is—that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead in accord with I Corinthians 15:1-8. After all, the Word of God here identifies the Gospel as the single most important message found in all of the Bible. And it also explains that it is the most important message because it is the one single message that saves us from an eternal hell and delivers us unto eternal life, if only we will believe in it. Our belief in this Gospel of Jesus Christ literally spells the difference between eternal life and eternal death!
We are passionate about the fact that Jesus Christ and His Apostles, along with their close associates who wrote the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are far and away the most qualified authorities in all of history on the subject of how to overcome death. After all, Jesus Christ Himself is the one and only person in all of history to claim, as the God-man, to have power over death and who also proved His power over death by his prediction and accomplishment of His own resurrection on the very day He predicted it (John 10:17). He also raised others from the dead, and His apostles then raised others from the dead through prayer uttered in His name (Acts 9, 20) Until some other spiritual authority, pope, prophet, priest, teacher or religious leader matches his claims, feats, character and continuing power, He and His Word will remain the only authenticated authority in the history of mankind with regard to matters of death, resurrection, judgments, eternal life, eternal death, and things to come.
We are passionate about how people receive the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of their sins—through faith and faith alone—a faith that is synonymous with confidence, trust, dependence and reliance upon Christ and Christ alone and what Christ did for us that paid for our sins. Jesus Christ died on the cross in our place, instead of us, to pay the penalty for our sins (i.e., the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ for our sins) (Mark 10:45; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; I Corinthians 2; 15:1-8).
We are passionate about the accurate presentation of this Gospel because there seems to be so much sloppy Gospel preaching in the world these days. So often, any mention of Christ’s death for our sins and resurrection is partially or entirely absent from evangelism presentations, and being saved becomes merely a matter of “inviting” or “asking” Jesus to come into our hearts, when the Bible never mentions this prayer formula as a means of receiving eternal life.
We are passionate about what the Gospel is and how it is received because there are so many false gospels in the world (Galatians 1:6-9; II Corinthians 11:3-5; 13-15), and false ways to God which false teachers, false prophets and false apostles, advance, often unwittingly, as the means to salvation. Most often, these deceivers have also been deceived by the great Deceiver, Satan (I Timothy 4:1-4; I John 4:1-3). Because of this many are deceived and take the broad road that leads to destruction, rather than the narrow road that leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).
We are passionate about exactly who God is—He exists in three persons (Matthew 28:18-20; I Corinthians 13:13)—the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and has ultimately been revealed to us in the most complete, exquisite and understandable way in Jesus Christ, who was completely God and completely man at the same time. He alone has explained to mankind better than any other single revelation in history exactly what God is like (John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:14-18).
We are passionate about the identity of the true God, the one and only Eternal Creator. We are passionate about the identity of the true God, because it is through understanding that Jesus Christ is the only ultimate human manifestation of the Eternal Creator who is God that salvation is offered (John 8:24; 14:6-9). We are passionate about this because there are so many idols and false gods and false Christs being preached in accord with the spirit of the antichrist who is already in the world. (I John 4:1-4). We are passionate about this because when you worship the wrong god, you go to the wrong place (John 8:24; II Corinthians 11:3-5; 13-15).
We are passionate about obeying the Word of God without compromise. We believe that obedience to God’s Word is the key to experiencing the reality of God and a close personal relationship with Him (John 14:21). We believe that abiding in the Word of God in our own personal devotional times and at all times in our lives is critical to having the mind of Christ and experiencing the blessing of God and the power of His Holy Spirit upon our lives and ministries (Colossians 3:16-17; Ephesians 5:18).
We are passionate about the love of Christ. We believe that the demonstration of the love of Christ in the relationship that exists between us believers is the ultimate apologetic for unbelievers which might compel them to come to faith in Christ (John 13:34-35).
We are passionate about the unity of the body of Christ, the Church, in the bond of peace. We firmly believe when the love of Christ is paramount in the body of Christ, each of us will humbly seek what is best for the glory of God and the good of the flock instead of preferring our own way and thus possibly dividing the body of Christ. (John 10:11-13; Luke 22:24-27; Ephesians 4:1-3)
We are passionate about the demonstration of the love of Christ on Sunday mornings at church or at any other time believers come together. We believe that it is a crime for that love not to be demonstrated both between believers and extended toward unbelievers in church on Sunday mornings, at any other fellowship of the church or at any other time, for that matter. We believe that Christians who are filled with Christ’s love and the power of the Holy Spirit will very willingly sacrifice their own desires for comfort, convenience, entertainment and pleasure to initiate conversations and relationships with both believers and unbelievers whom they may or may not have previously known.
We are passionate about the fact that we serve a living, prayer-answering, wonder-working and supernatural God. We believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13) and is able, and often willing to do the same miraculous kinds of things He did in Bible times. We believe that the only reason we may not see as many supernatural events in our own experience today could well be our own unbelief, pride and unwillingness to seek God with the same zeal and intensity that people like Moses, Daniel, Elijah and the Apostles sought Him with in Bible times (Exodus 32:30-34, I Kings 17-19; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Daniel 9-10, and John 14:12-14; James 4:6-10).
We are passionate about prayer, knowing that ministry is accomplished by the work and power of God, and that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). If Jesus was dependent on prayer for the success of His ministry, how much more do we need to dependent and devoted to prayer for the Father to accomplish His work through us? (We can plant and we can water, but only God gives the growth.) (I Corinthians 3:4-7; II Corinthians 3:5).
We are passionate about our worship of the Triune God. We believe that the only acceptable worship is to worship Him in spirit and in truth, which means we love God will all our heart, mind, soul and strength whether in the midst of singing a worship song, listening to a sermon, working at our job, or enjoying our families and our recreation (Matthew 22:36-40; John 4:24).
We are passionate about the fact that God the Father and Christ Himself alone are worthy of glory and honor. Biblical and human history are replete with examples of men who have sought to make a name for themselves, who have become examples of overweening pride when greatly blessed by God, and who have, as a result, forfeited His great blessing (Genesis 6; II Chronicles 26:16-23; Daniel 4-5; Ezekiel 27-28, 31-32; Nahum, Obadiah). We are convinced that humans are most greatly used by God when they are or have been most greatly humbled and/or weakened by God and refuse to attempt to take credit for His Work (Numbers 12:1-15; Deuteronomy 34:10-12; II Corinthians 12:7-10, James 4:6-10). We are, therefore, absolutely determined that men and women in our ministry humble themselves under God’s Almighty Hand, acknowledge that all they are and all they have are ultimately from God, and that they submit themselves completely to giving glory to the One and Only One who is worthy of it—God Himself (I Corinthians 4:7, 10:31).
We are not a seeker-sensitive church in the sense that the term is usually employed with regard to churches in our current culture. By saying that, we mean that we do not limit our preaching and teaching to Biblical topics which we think unchurched people might find relevant to their lives, acceptable with regard to their thinking or non-offensive with regard to their preferences. Instead, we believe that God has always known best about what mankind needs to know to be saved and sanctified, including issues such as sin, hell, church discipline and the beloved or accepted sins of our day. Therefore, we make it our aim to proclaim the whole counsel of God to any and all who come. (Acts 20:26-27). We are determined to preach the Word and sound doctrine and not to be among those who simply tickle the ears of those who come to hear (II Timothy 4:1-5).
We do not play- down the idea that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, but rather glory in it (John 10:6-10; 14:6; Acts 4:12). We do not avoid mention of hell, knowing that Jesus Christ spoke of hell more than any other single person in Scripture. (Mark 9:41-48; Matthew 13:36-43, 50; 25:46; John 3:16-19). We don’t soft-pedal the idea that God’s Word, the Bible, as opposed to the philosophies or sciences of men, has the best possible solution to the sin and the struggles which we experience as human beings. (Colossians 2:8-15) We are passionate about the fact that the Holy Spirit, not our own human maneuvering, is the power which brings conviction upon people who need to be saved, and will use God’s Word and Christ’s Gospel, not our own wisdom or power (Isaiah 55:8-11; I Corinthians 2:2; 15:1-4) to bring men to the faith that saves.
Nevertheless, having said all this, we are passionate about preaching the truth in love, as Jesus Christ Himself did, showing patience, gentleness and reverence even for those who might contradict, seeking to answer every question which might separate anyone from experience the love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord (II Timothy 2:24-26).
We are committed to loving those who struggle, as we all do, by being devoted to their welfare, giving preference to others, and meeting others needs, weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice. (Romans 12; I Corinthians 13).
We are also passionate about doing church God’s way, which includes having male leaders who are qualified shepherd/elders teaching, leading and pastoring God’s flock and qualified ministers of mercy who are deacons and deaconesses (Acts 6:1-5; 14:23; I Timothy 3:1-13; 5:17-25; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-4). Where necessary, we will practice church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17; I Corinthians 5:1-10), recognizing that we are to pursue holiness as servants of a holy God (Matthew 5:48).